SGL Group invested around 1 million euros additionally in the development of its Yangquan site, in the Chinese province of Shanxi. Driven by the megatrends digitization, energy supply and mobility, the need for graphite-based felts is increasing steadily in China. Rigid felts based on specialty graphites are used as very high-quality insulation materials in industrial inert gas and vacuum furnaces. They have a wide range of application including in the semiconductor and solar industry, the metal heat treatment of components for the automotive and aerospace industry, or in ceramic sintering processes for the hard metal industry. In addition to the site in Yangquan, the company produces rigid felts at its German site in Meitingen. The technology center in which products are further developed is also located here.
The serial production of the rigid felt material in Yangquan started few weeks ago, which coincides with the anniversary year of the German-Chinese joint venture. Ten years ago, SGL Group and Shanxi Quanhai Graphite founded the joint venture SGL Quanhai Carbon (SQC). To mark this special anniversary, representatives from both companies, customers, and local politicians attended the official ceremony in Yangquan.
During the festivities, Dr. Jürgen Köhler, CEO of SGL Group, underlined the importance of Asia and China for SGL Group: “After Europe, Asia is the second most important market for our company and as well the fastest growing market. China in particular will continue to play a key role in our growth plans for the Asian market.”
Burkhard Straube, Head of Graphite Materials & Systems (GMS) at SGL Group, explains: “With our own rigid felt production in China, we can serve our Asian customers locally much faster and better, and at the same time drive our growth with innovative solutions based on specialty graphites. We will supply the markets of the rest of the world from Meitingen. At the same time, the German site serves as the technology center for further developing our felts.”